Australia’s 3AW radio host Nick McCallum apologized after an interviewee blamed “African guys” for an assault.
McCallum had interviewed Anthony Clark, the brother-in-law of the assault victim, on 3AW. Clark has since died
On Twitter Dec. 28, McCallum tweeted an apology and correction. “On Drive @3AW693 we interviewed Mark, brother in law of the Mooroolbark assault victim. He claimed the attackers were “African guys”. He was told that by his sister, also an attack victim. From later reporting it is clear that was wrong. We apologise to the African community,” he wrote.
McCallum told iMediaEthics by e-mail, the comment was made by the brother-in-law who had previously been consistent in saying the attackers were “African guys..”
“At the time we had no reason to think it was untrue and given the ongoing community debate..as uncomfortable as it was..we thought it was in the public interest to present what we thought the facts were,” he said.
“The issue of ‘African Gangs’ in Melbourne has been an emotional , vexed and complex political hot potato for several years,” McCallum added.
McCallum continued, “I have pointed out on air many times and on Friday too, while there is a problem among a minority of African youth, it is a problem which is often blown out of all proportion.” But, he said sources later told him it was not an African gang but neighbors, and that Mark maintained it was “African guys.”
“After discussing the issue with the station general manager late on Saturday , we decided the best course of action was for me to post on twitter explaining the situation and apologising to the African community and to use the earliest opportunity, 3aw’s ‘Sunday Morning’ current affairs show , to explain and apologise ..which I did . We also removed the interview on the 3aw website and edited out references in the story on the website to the ‘African guys’ on Saturday night.”
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